Early 1990s: Bypass/toll transponder systems

November 15, 2011  | by: Christi Cowan

In 1983, Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate (HELP), a private-public cooperative study and demonstration project, pioneered the nation’s first intelligent vehicle-highway system initiative for weigh and inspection stations.

HELP’s Crescent Project, implemented in 1991, provided the technology known today as PrePass, a system that allows many vehicles to bypass state inspection sites. The system does this by identifying the equipment as leased to a fleet with a solid safety record while weighing the vehicle as it moves to verify that each axle and the rig meet the weight regulations.

HELP established a public-private partnership to raise funds to make the new technology available commercially. HELP Inc. exists today as a not-for-profit partnership.

PrePass service began in 1995. As of July 2010, the PrePass system had grown to 289 sites in 29 states.

The E-ZPass system began independently in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as the first electronic toll collection service in 1993. E-ZPass saves time for operators rolling through tool booths and, at some locations, high-speed lanes allow trucks to maintain velocity slightly below highway speeds.

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